10+ Years of Dewey’s Experience

Hi everyone, it’s Kristen from The Book Monsters or @bookgoil on social media!

I’ve been participating in Dewey’s Readathon for so long I can’t even remember the years now. Each time is a new experience and I enjoy each one!

There’s years I have plans and get an hour or two in.

There’s years I overdo it and cohost/twitter party/host a mini challenge and barely read because I’m all over the place cheering everyone on.

There’s the years I make it to about 19-20 hours of reading – how did I do that?!?!?

To say the least, no readathon is the same as the other and things can go unplanned.

What have I learned over all this time, you ask?

  1. Have fun, whatever that means to you. Do you feel like being social? Do it! Do you want to bury in books all day, do it!
  2. Plan a decent menu and don’t overdo it. I find overcaffeinating/overeating does NOT help in the least. Keeping to a normal schedule, adding in walks and breaks helps you to keep going. Think about the night (if you are aiming to stay up) as a longer day, walk around your home, eat a real meal or a take a cat nap.
  3. Audiobooks/graphic novels are your friends. I find that being able to move about and do things with audiobook and quick reads like graphic novels make you feel like you’re getting a lot read without doing a lot of page pushing.
  4. Have a buddy. I have two furbabes that keep me company, they also make me walk. This can mean making a friend online you track with, I tend to drag my online buddies into readathons with me and we cheer each other on.
  5. Clear your schedule, if you can, or work around it. Life gets in the way, it’s okay, just know that going into it you have so much time that you want to read with.
  6. Put your device away if you’re reading. I try to check in every 3 hours when I’m really reading, not on the hour.
  7. HAVE FUN… really. Just have fun. If you’re not enjoying a book, pick another from your stack. Download another from the library, run to your bookshelf and grab a new one. Be as social or not social as you want. I love all the check ins and challenges but they can really distract so pick and choose when you check into those if your focus is reading.

To end, here’s my cute pups, hopefully they’ll behave so I can read all day.

Things I Learned from My First Dewey 24 Hour Readathon Experience

TBR stack

Impossibly Ambitious TBR stack

  • First and foremost, I am overly ambitious and incapable of choosing between books. Hello impossible to-be-read pile.
  • Turns out, I can get up at 7 in the morning on a Saturday and even function, if by “functioning” you mean remain in bed and read.
  • People will assume it’s for charity (because why else would you be doing this?) and if you don’t rush to correct them, they might make you breakfast in bedill-gotten breakfast

ill-gotten breakfast

  • Headaches are minor annoyances that I don’t actually notice while reading, only when I stop reading and walk around the house to get a cup of water or something. If I never get up to get a cup of water, I never notice I have the headache. (Flawless logic.)
  • You can’t actually survive all day by drinking only coffee.
  • The only thing more satisfying and enjoyable than reading all day is posting about it on instagram with pretty filters, so even though you’re sitting around in the same position all day, you’ve documented it well enough on social media that your life looks very glamorous.
  • Some graphic novels are not, in fact, faster reading than normal novels, because if you just skim over the pictures and only read the text nothing makes much sense.
  • Orange snacks and library books don’t mix well. (I’ve been informed I could use a fork if said orange snacks were spear-able, but did I mention how I cease to function when all I imbibe is coffee all day? I wasn’t at my most coherent.)
  • Related note, turning pages with your elbows slows down reading considerably.
  • 24 hours is a long time, and I am not in college anymore. Even drinking an energy drink couldn’t make me last through the night (I managed-ish until 3 a.m.) AND THAT’S OKAY. It’s not a contest. 
  • Structural integrity is important for blanket forts. If you make one that is tenuous, be sure to bring extra (non-orange) snacks so you don’t have to risk going in and out.

      Sadly Snackless Blanket Fort Blanket Fort

  • Shoveling M&Ms into your mouth every time you doze off after 1 a.m. is not an effective way to wake back up (you may in fact fall right back asleep, now you’re just asleep with a mouthful of M&Ms, which can’t be safe), nor is it going to help you feel very bright and cheery in the morning.
  • I have an addiction. Hello, my name is Aubrey, and I’m a bookaholic. Not only did I pick up a book the very next morning, the second I woke up after reading 20 hours straight the previous day, I’ve found myself reading significantly more since the marathon. Perhaps because I just whet my reading appetite, or perhaps because I took out over 30 library books and can’t decide which one of my babies to return without reading so I’m just trying to get through them all.

Overall experience: 10/10 would deprive myself of sleep, socialization and proper nutrition to read all day again. Highly recommend the experience.

Self Care and Readathon

Let’s face it folks, this year has been rough. Across pretty much all demographics, 2020 has not been kind. It’s really one of the biggest reasons I’ve been looking forward to Readathon. Why I look forward to it every time; It’s a day I take for me. I turn off the news, turn on my favorite music, prepare my favorite foods and enjoy myself.

Admittedly, not everyone can do this, an entire 24 hours for you. But even just taking an hour or so for yourself can do wonders for your well-being. Taking a seat outside and bringing your favorite book with you can be a literal and metaphorical breath of fresh air for your system. Putting on an audiobook and giving yourself a mani/pedi can be so restorative.

And being able to interact with other readers helps. People who know the struggle of trying to continue reading after a beloved character’s death. People who know the pains of trying to get 5 minutes of reading in when you’ve got so much to do. People who can help and empathize with you. We’ve got a really good community here and that’s really helpful for self-care.

There are, of course, some Readathon self-care tips that cross over to the overall self-care:

  1. Drink water. Sadly humans have not yet evolved the ability to survive solely on caffeine. (I’m working on it!)
  2. Exercise. Okay, during Readathon it can just be getting up once in a while and moving around, but the principle is the same. Exercise gets the blood flowing, provides endorphins, and can actually give you some more energy.
  3. Ask for Help. Need advice? Need help picking your next read? Can’t find the energy to continue reading, even though you want to? Ask for help! We’re here to help and support you!
  4. Enjoy Your Book. I’ve seen so many Readathoners struggle because they want to read “X book” but aren’t really enjoying it. It’s okay to switch to a different book. Just like it’s okay to get so lost in a book that you don’t participate in as many chats/mini-challenges as you had wanted. Reading a good book can be a potent restorative.

There’s plenty of other tips/tricks for Readathon, but the most important one to remember: Have fun. It might sound cliche, but if you’re not having fun, it’s okay to step out, put the book down, go do something else. Taking care of yourself is a Readathon priority. Don’t worry about page counts. Don’t worry about your number of books read. Take some time for you, get lost in a book, and remember: We’re here if you need us.

Get Ready: Dewey’s 24 Hour October Read-A-Thon by Mr Geek!

Hi All – My name is Shawn (but you can call me Mr Geek). I’m the author behind the blog, Treat Yo Shelf! So go ahead, Treat Yo Shelf to a new book! I’m really looking forward to co-hosting the upcoming Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon and I thought what better way to kick things off than with a quick introduction post telling you a little more about me.

When 2020 kicked off, I had lofty goals and expectations for the year. 2019, in general, wasn’t a great. My Dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and underwent a pretty extensive treatment over the summer between that and his recovery the year was pretty bleak. I remember us sitting at dinner on New Year’s Eve, toasting that we were happy for 2019 to be behind us and ready for a fresh start in 2020. This year has not been ideal but I’ve been managing to find nuggets of happiness along the way. Early into the pandemic I struggled to read and found myself generally anxious about life and unable to focus on my books (granted, there were a lot of unknowns about work, life and what was going to happen next). As we shift into the latter half of 2020, I seem to have fallen into a nice reading groove and am working on accomplishing my stretch goal of 52 books for the year!

I’ve found that by joining read-a-thons, it gave me a greater sense of focus and allowed me to turn my reading into a bit of a game. One of the first read-a-thons I joins this year was Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. 24 hours dedicated to nothing but reading! I live on the East Coast and love the fact that this one starts at 8 am (my time). When Kate, from Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon, was looking for volunteers to help co-host this October read-a-thon I knew I had to sign up!

My blog, Treat Yo Shelf, was inspired by Parks & Recc and the greatest day of the year: Treat Yo Self. I’ve always been an enabler and an advocate for splurging on that new book! This October, Treat Yo Shelf and Dewey’s are coming together, to encourage readers throughout the country to go buy a new book and read along with me for 24 hours! Definitely stop over and check out some of my posts. I love to post book reviews, TBRs and monthly recaps – who knows, maybe I’ll help you find your next favorite read!?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-A-Thon starts on October 24th at 8 am (EST)! I’ll be hosting a mini challenge (follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my blog, Treat Yo Shelf, for updates) and I’ll be co-hosting a couple of hours late into the read-a-thon! Hope you are able to join in on the fun! If you have questions, let me know in the comments!

Until Next Time,
Mr Geek

Readathon Bingo

If you’ve participated on the Goodreads Group before during the readathon, then you will know that every Readathon, Gabby creates a Bingo Board for us to use while participating in the readathon. The goal, obviously, is to get a bingo. But for those who really love a challenge, the ultimate goal is to get a blackout. This is all for fun and bragging rights, as there are no prizes. This year, we are so excited to bring Dewey Bingo to the whole Readathon community. You can use the above photo or find the PDF on Google Drive.

There are just a couple of rules:

  1. For a book to count for a square, you must have read a minimum of 50 pages. You are NOT required to finish a book before marking a bingo square complete.
  2. You may fit your book into as many squares as you can. So say you read 250 pages of the Illustrated Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, you could fit that into (1) Read a book with a supernatural element, (2) Read a book with a person on the cover, (3) Read a book with illustrations, (4) Read 200 pages, (5) Read a book published in the last 13 years since this edition is new, and (6) Read a book with a page total of a 1 or 3 since this book has 451 pages. You could also fit several others in there, if you did a couple reading sprints and posted on social media or dressed as a character from the book, etc. So it isn’t too difficult to get a black out, if you do a little bit of pre-planning.

The Bingo board has been posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads and you can participate in any or all of the platforms. You can also let us know about completed Bingos or Blackouts here. Good luck to all and “May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor!’

Scully’s Readathon Diary

I would like to thank my human for translating and typing this up for me. She is called Ellie and has informed me she has a blog at Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. I am a four year old Labrador and I have been readathonning all my life… Here is a transcript of my version of events.

12:00 There appear to be cheesy nuggets of delight on the table. Hang on, my human wants me to sit next to some books, maybe there’s a cheesy snack in it for me?

12:01 This is soooooo boring, where’s my treat? She’s pointing that rectangle thing at me, time to look adorable.

12:05 What?! No cheesy snack? I demand justice!

13:00 After finishing the midday eating, my human settles down with a book. It’s time for my early afternoon snooze, if I’m lucky I can snuggle into some of that blankie…

13:02 There is a pointy book corner jabbing my eyebrow. I hate books, they take away attention from me, serve no purpose that I can make out, and they don’t even taste good. Trust me, I tried one once. It didn’t go down too well with the humans.

13:05 Commence loud snoring.

14:00 She’s turning the pages too loudly, I’m off. I’ll be back for the snacks.

16:29 I’m starting to feel peckish.

16:30 Helloooo? Can you see me? What about now? Your book is in the way, I need to tell you IT IS TIME. I AM HUNGRY. FEED ME!

16:31 Apparently it is not time, I cannot believe it. I am starving. To. Death.

17:20 OMG she’s put the book down! Feed me! No, no, don’t pick up that thing.

17:29 After approximately ninety hundred hours of laser beam staring, she is getting up…and yes, YES going into the kitchen.

17:30 The beautifully delicious kibbles are being poured into my bowl, the drool is pooling in my mouth…

17:31 Well that was nice, time to play. What the?! She’s back on the sofa with a book again. This is uncalled for.

18:00 The other human played with me for a bit, time for another snooze.

19:00 Owowowowowooooohooooowaaaaa! There’s someone at the door, how exciting! They must be here to see me!

19:02 The visitor ran off without saying hello but they left behind food. It smells so good. If I sit down I will get some.

19:20 The humans ate all the food and now she is back to reading a book again. SIGH.

21:00 That was a good dream. I was running and it was raining snacks.

21:01 She is still reading. It looks like a different book thing, this one is less pointy. I shall lie my head on it.

21:30 Is that a snack packet being opened I hear?

21:31 I sit, I dribble, I eat cheesy snacks. So crunchy. So good.

21:32 More please!

21:33 What if I wave my paw about?

21:34 All gone sad face

22:00 Time for bed.

23:15 Something is not right, she’s still downstairs. And she’s not even drinking that rotten fruit juice.

23:20 I’ll just stare from the top of the stairs.

23:22 I do not know what she means, I am not creepy AT ALL. I am adorable.

01:30 OW! WHAT? Oh it’s you, mind where you’re treading.

02:00 Oh good both humans are asleep, time to check the perimeter.

02:10 No cheesy snacks to be found.

07:00 I think she moved! Here have a toy. I’m hungry.

07:01 I need a wee. But also HUNGRY.

07:05 EYE CONTACT! Result.

07:30 Twenty hours later I get my much deserved breakfast.

07:31 BUTTER ALERT

07:33 She’s eating crumpets. They are even better than cheesy snacks. They come with butter. If I sit down I get to lick the plate.

07:35 NOT BOOKS AGAIN? Did she not read enough yesterday?

07:36 Maybe she’s ill? I will snuggle, it is well known that snuggling has magic healing powers. Also she smells of butter, which is nice.

10:00 Hey, any chance of a walk? You need a break from the reading, you’ll go blind. Then you won’t be able to walk me.

10:01 She just told me later. Later is like days away.

12:30 I’m bored and hungry and my legs will fall off if I don’t get my walk soon.

13:00 HURRAH! She has put the book down. What, no don’t start taking photos again. I hope you don’t expect me to help this time.

Vampire Challenge from Mommy in Color

A few weeks ago, my daughter, my mom and I watched The Wolfman starring Benicio Del Toro. It was one of my daughter’s favorite movies to watch with her other grandmother. My mother was a horror movie connoisseur. Nothing was too gross for her and there had to be LOTS of blood. But she loved werewolves.  Anyway, my family and I got into the age old discussion of which would you rather be: a vampire or a werewolf. Don’t get me wrong,I like werewolves. I loved Anne Rice’s Wolf Gift series. But vampires have always been my ultimate favorite supernatural creature. I enjoy the MANY ways there are for vampires to look from elegant and pretty like the ones in  Anne Rice novels or super gross looking like Nosferatu. My favorite vampire novels aside from Rice are The Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton and the Vampire Huntress Legend series by L.A. Banks.  Your challenge, if you choose to accept it,is to describe yourself with three vampires. I’ll make it a little easier and let you decide whether you want to use books or tv/movies. I’ll start us off: 
(from left) Akasha, Queen of the Damned; unknown vampire, John Carpenter’s Vampires; Gloria, Blacula  Good luck to all of you!!! Have fun!

Mindful reading and the pandemic

Hi book peeps,

I am Juli from ichlese. I thought I could talk a bit about my 2020 reading journey, which just so happens is unintentionally exactly what I needed to cope with the current world situation. Over the past few years I found myself competing with …, well, … myself. I would select a certain number of books as my Goodreads goal and then only think about how to beat that number. Don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoyed myself along the way and I read many books which I loved, loved, loved BUT I didn’t feel like I internalized the stories and words as much as they deserved.

Relaxed reading lazy GIF on GIFER - by Gholbilune

So, at the beginning of this year, I set my major goal to be “mindful reading”. This entails carefully selecting books based on what I feel like and not based on the hype of the book community for example, DNFing them readily if they don’t get me engaged, tackling some books which have been on my TBR for a really long time, and (most importantly!) being present while reading. That means no scramming to finish a book between appointments just to mark it as read on Goodreads, re-reading passages if I particularly love them, re-reading entire books because I want to, sitting with my thoughts after finishing a novel, totally cherishing that book hangover rather than filling that void immediately with another story, and not being bothered by interruptions (especially if they’re furry and cute).

SLOTHILDA

Interestingly, this new strategy pushed me to investigate authors and not just their books (yes, I sometimes went down the internet rabbit hole). I generally tended to select a novel by new-to-me-writers based on the synopsis and a few general reviews but instead I found myself picking up books because I was enamored with the author. I started looking for glimpses of the author in the story. I started relating so much more to the characters and their journeys. And I started to be much more critical of which authors merit my time.

Slothilda Sloth

How does this relate to the pandemic and to Dewey’s readathon, you ask? Simply speaking, it allowed me to look within and pick a novel that would fill my emotional need no matter the situation – and we all know those needs changed a crazy amount of time with every development across the world this year – and it made me listen to the book community in a different way. I paid attention to exactly what people were saying about certain authors, I concentrated on reading between the lines when people wrote their reviews (what are they not saying for example), and I became more compassionate toward everyone’s internal struggles. I selected books because they made someone else feel good and I was curious to understand why. I picked up poetry collections left and right to confront myself with other people’s feelings and observations. And I read wayyyyyyy more non-fiction, specifically memoirs and accounts of individual’s journeys, than I have ever before, despite the fact that I personally struggle with non-fiction. Reading them mindfully allowed me grace with myself. If I lost interest or got distracted for a moment I didn’t chastise myself or get frustrated. I would be happy with reading even just a few pages here and there. That still amounts to reading the entire memoir eventually, right?!

Slothilda Sloth

Dewey’s readathon community is a big part of my mindful reading journey. I love how we all come together, from all parts of the world, from all walks of life, and read in unison. We support each other. We encourage each other. We respect each other. It’s such a lovely and needed sentiment in these times. I am looking forward to knowing once again that for 24 hours I am doing exactly what thousands of others are doing as well – diving into magical worlds, living vicariously through a fictional character, listening to an author talk to me about their life, chatting with other book lovers, adding books upon books to my TBR, and cheering every single one of you on to reach the goals you set yourself (even if your goal is to not have one just like myself) for this October readathon.

Virtual hugs,

Juli

Pre-Readathon Readathon #2

I hope that you have been enjoying our Pre-Readathon Readathons. This weeks will be a fairly easy challenge… we are challenging you to clear off your currently reading shelf.

The majority of us have those books hanging over our head that are half read… well that’s no way to head into a readathon. We need clean plates to start off the most important day of the second half of the year!

Now, if you are one of those people who doesn’t move on to another book until the one you’re reading is done… then your challenge is simply to begin and finish as many books as you can in this week.

You are absolutely allowed (and encouraged) to apply these books to the Pre-Readathon Reading Challenge. So far it looks like only two people have finished the challenge.

Let us know what your goal is for this week and then come back just before the readathon begins and let us know how close you came to meeting your goal!

Happy Reading 🙂

Fall Into Reading

Fall Into Reading . . .      Fall reading clipart no background

I was so excited to get the chance to sign up for a “warm-up” post for the Readathon!   I especially love the Autumn Readathon as it lends itself to a cozy blanket and hot cup of coffee or tea on a cool day.    I have always been a reader who likes to choose books that match the season we are in . . . in the summer time all of the books with beautiful, warm beach scenes draw me in and who can resist a Christmas story in December?!  So I interviewed some faithful book readers to see what they would recommend to us for “Fall reading” and maybe you still have time to get ahold of their recommendations for the Readathon on the 24th!

Our first recommendation is a “cozy mystery”.    Cozy Corgi Mysteries by Mildred Abbott.  The setting is in a bookstore – what could be better – and the owner always has her sweet Corgi alongside her.  I’m sure he plays a big role in solving the mystery of the day.  Upstairs in the bookstore is a bakery!  Now that’s pretty sweet!  And with these cute book covers who could resist them?

Picture

Our next recommendation is Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen – This story begins in the Fall season but the coming weather and winter season plays a big role in the tale.  I have found that anything by this author is a great choice!!  

Paperback The Sugar Queen : A Novel Book

For me personally – Autumn makes me think of pumpkin patches, country sides with Fall harvest in high gear, apple orchards, and I’m always pulled in by the pictures on the front cover . . . here are a few Fall choices from my own Kindle library.

The Hope Jar  by Wanda E. Brunstetter

And Then She Was Gone by Rosalind Noonan

Country Heaven by Ava Miles

The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

Peas, Beans and Corn by Jennifer Wixson

Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler

I hope you have a great Readathon on the 24th and a great Fall season!!

Teri Henningsen